Information Center

We know you are concerned about your child’s teeth and interested in providing your kiddo with thebest information to protect their oral health. It can seem overwhelming, so whether you are wonderingwhen to schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist or an emergency dental issue, like an infection oraccident we’re here to help! We want to help you feel confident, comfortable, and equipped with theanswers about your child’s dental care.

For Babies and Toddlers

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children come visit the dentist by age 1 or when their first tooth appears. Many parents worry that their child will not tolerate the visit well, however this is a great way to get started with beneficial dental habits and introduce your child to the dental care setting. It also gives our dental team the opportunity to identify any dental needs your child may have and recommend proper techniques to keep your child healthy.

We request that all patients attending for the first time complete our new patient forms from the home page of our website. Here you can inform us of any medical history or concerns, as well as provide us with necessary information, for us to contact and bill insurance companies where needed.

When you arrive for your visit we have a waiting area with a train table, toys, books, and television with children’s shows playing to keep your kiddo engaged for the short wait. At your appointment time we will devote our attention to your child, by meeting you in the waiting area to invite the child and their parents into the office here you will meet members of our dental team.

In the treatment room your child will receive a dental cleaning, fluoride treatment, and exam with our team and one of our dentists. Depending on the child’s age radiographs (x-rays) may be recommended. All treatment is always discussed with the child’s parent prior to proceeding, we want you to feel comfortable and prepared for services we offer. We recognize that every child has different needs and abilities, so we always endeavor to go at a pace that is appropriate for each individual child to make the experience pleasant and fun.
The dentist will spend time discussing and educating both the child and their parents on good, healthy oral hygiene and will explain any treatment recommendations in detail, answering any questions that you may have.


Interestingly your child’s teeth started forming before they were born. You can expect your child’s first tooth to appear around 6 to 12 months of age. This process can cause some tenderness and sensitive gums. It can be helpful to rub your child’s sore gums with clean fingers or a cold wet cloth. This will help soothe the discomfort.
Children will continue to get baby teeth until about age 3. Permanent teeth generally start erupting around age 6 and this can last until around age 12. Not every child grows at the same rate, so if you have any concerns about teeth erupting feel free to discuss this with the dentist or our dental team.

baby teeth

Primary or baby teeth are very important. Keeping them healthy is critical to your child’s development. They help your child to eat as they age and expand their diet. Baby teeth also aid in children’s ability to communicate and develop proper speech habits. Primary teeth also act as “space holders” for permanent or adult teeth. As a child grows baby teeth will naturally loosen and fall out to be replaced by adult teeth. If this process is rushed by prematurely having to take teeth out or if adult teeth are naturally missing options for holding the space open will be discussed to promote the best outcome for your child’s smile.

thumb & finger sucking

Initially these habits will not cause long term problems, however continued thumb/finger sucking can cause issues if the child doesn’t quit on their own. Options for children who have this habit will be presented to you to prevent this from doing long term damage. There are over- the-counter options that will make the taste of your child’s thumb/fingers unpleasant, which will help in breaking the habit. There are also appliances that can be made custom for your child that will inhibit them from sucking on their thumb/fingers. Options would be presented on an individual basis to meet the needs of your child.

Preventative Care

Parents are a big help in both teaching and instilling good oral hygiene habits for their children. Again, each child is unique, so regular dental appointments will assist us in assessing your child’s specific dental needs. However, the following are some good general hygiene habits that should be practiced:

A habit of thoroughly cleaning your infant’s gums after each cleaning with a water-soaked cloth will keep your baby’s gums healthy. It will not only remove food or residual sugars from food, but it also promotes healthy gum tissue.

Using a soft bristled toothbrush to gently brush your baby’s erupted teeth with a pea size amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste will help promote healthy teeth and gum tissue.

Teach your 2 or 3 year old children proper brushing techniques, assist them with brushing. Based on the child’s ability, usually around ages 2 or 3 when your child can spit it is safe to begin using a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste during brushing sessions.

Brushing should be a habit at least 2-3 times a day. In the morning, evening and after meals.

Introduce your child to flossing during brushing sessions. Gentle flossing will maintain healthy gum tissue and remove food debris and cavity causing bacteria that can get trapped between

Routine dental cleanings, typically one visit every 6 months. For patients under the age of 6 it is
often recommended that we see the patient every 3 months for a fluoride varnish treatment for
extra care and protection against dental decay.

Dental sealants

Sealants are a service that we recommend to protect your child’s permanent 6 & 12 year permanent molars. Due to the nature of the biting surface of molars the grooves can make it difficult to keep them free of food debris and bacteria that can lead to decay. Sealants a short procedure that can be combined with a cleaning appointment. After cleaning the tooth a clear sealant or plastic material is painted onto the tooth and bonded to the tooth with a special light. Sealants will be checked routinely to maintain and touch up as needed during your child’s routine visits. This is an easy and effective way to keep your child’s permanent teeth healthy.


X-rays are a vital part of maintaining your child’s dental care. Routine x-rays are performed to identify decay in between teeth that cannot be seen during a routine dental exam. X-rays also assist the dental team in providing the best treatment options down the road for your child. You may be asked to allow your child to have growth and development x-rays which, as their title suggests will help us to see how teeth are positioned, if all the expected permanent teeth are waiting to erupt or if any are missing. Additionally, x-rays can help our team to help you make decisions when there are dental issues and large areas of decay to prepare parents and the child for future procedures.

After Treatment

Caring for your child after they have had local anesthetic and have a numb mouth/lip. Depending on the location and extent of dental decay to keep your child comfortable during the appointment local anesthetic may be administered. After this is administered you can expect that your child’s jaw, cheek, lip, and tongue may be either partially or completely numb for 1-2 hours after treatment. This feeling is foreign and can be a little upsetting for children, especially if it is your child’s first time having the numb feeling. It is important for parents to closely monitor their child to make sure they don’t give in to the temptation to play with, chew, or suck on the numb areas. Because your child cannot feel what they are doing serious injuries could result if parents neglect to be watchful until the numb sensation goes away. After the 1-2 hours your child may resume eating, but soft food is recommended for the rest of the day to prevent injury.

Some dental procedures require specific diet instructions please see the links below to help you in providing the best diet options for your child after the following procedures:

Preparing for Appointment
Nitrous Oxide/Laughing Gas

The option of using nitrous oxide or laughing gas will be discussed with you prior to your child’s appointment with the dentist. This is a safe option that helps alleviate dental anxiety and makes appointments with the dentist more enjoyable. When laughing gas is used it is asked that children refrain from eating at least 3 hours prior to their scheduled procedure. This preventative measure will enable us to use the nitrous oxide without the risk of your child getting sick in the chair during treatment. While nitrous oxide does not induce vomiting, the sensation given by its use can result is a dizzy or nauseous feeling during treatment. Having an empty belly is helpful to prevent sickness during the procedure.


It can be very distressing when your child is experiencing dental problems or pain. Also, accidents happen which is stressful. Whether a permanent tooth is coming in behind a baby tooth that isn’t loosening, a tooth fractures or breaks, a sports accident results in a knocked-out tooth, or there seems to be some sort of mouth/tooth infection we are here for you. Please feel comfortable calling our office, we are available for emergencies. We want to help, and we are always happy to see your child and make a traumatic situation a little less stressful for both parent and child by educating and helping families through dental concerns, large or small. Please contact us at (716)672-2854 to discuss any concerns.